FAQ

  • Where do NIAS advertise job vacancies?
  • What are the entry requirements for ACA & EMT posts?
  • How long is the recruitment process for ACA and EMT posts?
  • How often do NIAS recruit for Emergency and Non-Emergency posts?
  • How long is the training?
  • How do I become a Paramedic?
  • How long is the training for a Paramedic?
  • Where is the training held?
  • What if I am a fully qualified and certified paramedic looking to join NIAS?
  • What are the driving requirements for Emergency and Non-Emergency posts?
  • What is the retirement age?
  • Where can I get information about the Pension Scheme?
  • What is the holiday entitlement?
  • How many hours do NIAS personnel work?
  • What are the working shifts patterns within NIAS?
  • What does “relief” mean in the post of an Emergency Medical Technician (Relief)?
  • Where will I be based if I am successful at the recruitment stage?
  • What does the recruitment process for Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) and Patient Care Service (PCS) Ambulance Persons consist of?
  • What are Emergency and Non Emergency Medical Dispatchers?
  • Where are the Dispatch Centres located?
  • Are there any “Driving Jobs”?
  • What is the Salary for posts within NIAS?

Generally jobs within NIAS are advertised in local press, the Belfast Telegraph, local radio, Jobs and Benefits Offices.

External job vacancies are advertised on the internet on HSC Recruit

Ambulance Care Attendant (ACA) Criteria:

3 GCSE subjects at Grade C or above, including English and Maths or equivalent qualifications. A full unendorsed and unrestricted driving licence with category C1 and D1 with no more the three penalty points. All shortlisted candidates will be required to pass an entrance exam based on numeracy and literacy and a Highway Code Test.

Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Criteria:

5 GCSE subjects at Grade C or above, including English and Maths or equivalent qualifications OR 3 GCSE’s at Grade C or above including English and Maths or acceptable qualifications AND hold a valid Ambulance Aid Care Award AND be prepared to sit the IHCD/EMT pre-entry test. A full, unrestricted driving licence with category C1 and D1 with no more the three penalty points.

N.B.Please note that the criteria may be subject to review in the light of the changing needs of the Service

The recruitment process for each post varies however, for the posts of Ambulance Person – Patient Care Service (PCS) and Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) the recruitment process generally takes 6 months.

 NIAS does not have a set time/period for recruitment. Recruitment occurs based on the needs of the service. As the Service develops and expands there may be a need to recruit more staff.

Ambulance Care Attendant (ACA) 4 Weeks:

1 Week – Driving Training, 3 Weeks – Ambulance Care Award Course

Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT): 10 Weeks – Emergency Medical Training & 12 Month Period of Assessment.

Currently within NIAS there are opportunities for fully qualified Emergency Medical Technicians with 2 years post qualification experience to train to become a Paramedic.

Paramedic: 10-12 Weeks – After Post Qualification Experience & Satisfactory Work Based Assessment.

The Regional Ambulance Training Centre is currently based at the NIAS Trust Headquarters in Belfast. However, training courses are based in various locations around Northern Ireland and parts of the training are be residential.

For Qualified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT): If you hold a Institute of Health and Care Development (IHCD) EMT certificate with two years satisfactory operational experience (including probationary period) and are registered with the Health Professionals Council and have a full, unrestricted UK valid driving licence with category C1 and D1 with no more the three penalty points. NIAS currently have a recurrent recruitment for this post. To apply please visit our current vacancies page.

For Qualified Paramedic: If you hold a Institute of Health and Care Development (IHCD) Paramedic certificate with two years satisfactory operational experience (including probationary period) and are registered with the Health Professionals Council, and have a full, unrestricted UK valid driving licence with category C1 and D1 with no more the three penalty points. NIAS currently have a recurrent recruitment for this post. To apply please visit our current vacancies page.

All Ambulance Personnel are required hold driving categories C1 and D1 on a full, unendorsed and unrestricted driving licence with no more than 3 penalty points. Information on driving entitlements can be obtained from the Driving and Vehicle Licensing – Northern Ireland – www.dvlni.gov.uk

In line with the National Health Service guidelines the retirement age for employees is 65. However, from October 2006 employees will have the right to request to work beyond this age.

All Health Service staff can enter the Health Service Pension Scheme.  Any queries in relation to the pension scheme can be addressed to the HPSS Superannuation Branch, email superannbr@dhsspsni.gov.ukor visit their web site www.dhsspsni.gov.uk/superann/index.html

On commencement with NIAS all employees are entitled to 27 days holidays plus 10 public holidays pro rata. Holiday entitlement may differ to take into account any previous service within the Health Service.

All NIAS personnel work a 37.5 hour week. Shift patterns obviously apply for certain posts.

NIAS operates various shift patterns for all operational posts.

Accident & Emergency crews will be required to work a range of shifts from an 8 hour day to a 12 hour day depending on the station you are based.

As NIAS provides an Accident & Emergency service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week service all A&E personnel are required to work weekend, day and night shifts and will also be required to work on statutory holidays.

Dispatch Centre staff are also required to work various shift patterns to include weekend, day and night shifts and will also be required to work on statutory holidays.

Management and support positions usually work Monday to Friday: 9.00am to 5.00pm

Most Emergency Medical Technician (Relief) positions within NIAS are usually permanent posts. The term “relief” refers to the type of rota you will be placed on when first entering the service. As relief you do not have a permanent base location and may be require to cover absences in other locations with one of the NIAS ambulance divisions sometimes at short notice.
At the beginning of your training course you be notified as to which Station you will be based. When determining your base station the Trust will take into account where you live, however it should be noted that NIAS is a regional service and your placement will be dependant on where the vacancies are located within Northern Ireland, therefore you may be based in any of our base stations throughout Northern Ireland.
Currently the recruitment process consists of a driving assessment, an interview and a pre-employment medical. All ambulance personnel are also required to be vetted by the police and child care unit for any criminal convictions.

Emergency and Non Emergency Medical Dispatchers support the Ambulance Control Officer in the mobilisation and deployment of vehicles, answering of telephone/switchboard calls and dealing with enquiries.

Non Emergency Medical Dispatchers will deal with non-emergency calls and enquiries such as those from GP’s etc.

Emergency Medical Dispatchers will deal with emergency calls and will assist with the deployment of Accident & Emergency vehicles.

The Regional Emergency Medical Dispatch Centre (REMDC) is located at NIAS Trust Headquarters, Saintfield Road in Belfast.

The Regional Non- Emergency Medical Dispatch Centre (RNEMDC) is located at the grounds of Altnagelvin Hospital in Londonderry.

A common assumption made by many is that the Ambulance Care Attendant or Emergency Medical Technicians posts are “driving Jobs”. Although driving is a major part of the job, there are many other important aspects to the job such as the Medical training which are an intricate part of the role. Refer to Job Descriptions for the posts to provide you with a fuller account of the what the job entails.
Details of our staff pay and grading structures can be found here. As all salaries within are subject to change therefore you should contact the Human Resources Department for an up-to-date salary for all posts.